By Newt Gingrich
In the run-up to pass the Democrats' government takeover of healthcare against the clearly expressed wishes of the American people, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi notoriously declared,"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."
Obamacare is now passed and signed into law and the speaker has been proven both right and wrong.
She was right that we've learned more about what's in the bill.
She was wrong because what we've learned has been disastrous, and as a result, the controversy has continued.
Top 5 Surprises in Obamacare
The more the American people have learned about Obamacare since it was passed the more they dislike it. And with good reason. Here is a list of some recent surprises buried in the 2,300 pages of legislation.
1. Beginning in January 2012, businesses are required to file with the IRS for every business to business transaction over $600. This includes all transactions, not just health based ones. (Section 9006).
2. A new program (the Community Living Assistance Program) was established that is woefully underfunded by the bill and will eventually require much more money than allocated. (Section 8002).
3. As of January 2014, states must expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals under the age of 64 with family incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level. States already do not have the resources to provide adequate Medicaid coverage and this law will add millions more to Medicaid rolls. (Section 2001, as modified by 10201 and H.R. 4872; Sec. 1004 and 1201).
4. Beginning January 2011, individuals are not allowed to use Flexible Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, and Health Savings Accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines. The law also caps annual contributions at $2,500, down from $5,000. Many Americans (especially younger ones in relatively good health) rely on FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs to help pay for healthcare. This law makes these consumer-oriented tools that encourage smart shopping less convenient and provides a perverse incentive for individuals to buy expensive prescription medicine instead of over-the-counter alternatives. (Section 9003).
5. Verizon, AT&T, Caterpillar and other companies publicly acknowledged that the tax structure of the new law actually encourages companies to stop providing coverage for their employees beginning in 2014. (Section 1003).
Furthermore, despite promises from President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats that the bill would not add a dime to the deficit, the most recent CBO study confirms that the projected deficit has increased by $71 billion due to newly enacted legislation (namely healthcare reform).
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Lipstick on a Pig
These revelations have further solidified opposition to Obamacare, so much so that according to the latest Rasmussen poll, 56% of the American people now support repealing the bill entirely. That includes 46% who strongly support its repeal.
It's gotten so bad that the White House is now advising Democrats to stop trying to defend Obamacare on its merits and instead pledge to "improve" it.
There is only way to "improve" a 2,300 page, $2.5 trillion, budget-busting bill that raises costs, lowers the quality of care and kills jobs:
Repeal it and start over.
Anything else is, as the saying goes, putting "lipstick on a pig."
Fortunately, there is an easy way to get your congressman on the record to see if he or she will support repealing Obamacare.
H.R. 4972: A beautifully crafted 40-word solution
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is gathering signatures on a discharge petition that would force a vote on his bill, HR 4972.
H.R. 4972 currently offers the most practical solution to repeal Obamacare. At only 40 words, the language is simple:
"Effective as of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted."
But as expected, House Democrats have tied up the legislation in committee to avoid voting on it before the fall elections.
The discharge petition: 170 signatures and counting
To maneuver around this political obstacle, Rep. King has launched a discharge petition. As of August 10, he had gathered 170 signatures from various House members. He needs a total of 218 to force a vote on the House floor.
As Rep. King notes on his website:
"Efforts to repeal the deeply unpopular Obamacare bill continue to gather momentum. We now have 170 members of the House of Representatives on record calling for full repeal of Obamacare, including Republican Leader Boehner, Republican Whip Cantor and GOP Conference Chairman Pence. I expect these numbers to continue to swell."
So where does your member of Congress stand?
To view a complete list of signatures, click here. If your member of Congress still hasn't signed, write, call, fax, or e-mail asking him or her to sign the petition today.
Remember, there is no way to "improve" Obamacare, despite promises from Democrats. The law is too big, too complicated and too destructive.
Just look at this video and implementation chart at healthtransformation.net Does this look like something that can be fixed at the margins?
Repealing Obamacare and replacing it with common-sense health reforms that improve health and healthcare delivery, increase access through lowering costs, protect life-saving medical innovations, dramatically reduce healthcare fraud and making effective use of health information technology is the real reform we need.
Contact your member of Congress today.
(To learn more about the dangers of the healthcare bill, check out Chapter 5 in To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular Socialist Machine entitled "The Secular Socialist Machine's Health Bill Disaster.")